A case that went cold between 1990 and 2010, in part because it was left in the hands of the East Bay Regional Parks police, was reopened and this past week two people have been arrested for the stabbing murder of Stephen Rudiger. They are his ex-wife, Cheryl Ann Drace-Ervin of San Leandro, now 58, and her next husband William Joseph Devincenzi, 50.
Rudiger was 43 at the time of his death and his body was found by the side of Redwood Road in Chabot Regional Park on the morning of December 28, 1990.
At the time, he and Drace-Ervin were already divorced, but they were still sharing their Castro Valley home with the intention of selling it. Drace-Ervin had already remarried, to Devincenzi, and investigators believe that they killed Rudiger for financial gain in the Castro Valley house. They received information just three years ago that transferred jurisdiction of the case to Alameda County, when they learned that Rudiger may have been stabbed in the home, and not in the park. They were able to use DNA found at the scene to link the killing to Drace-Ervin and Devincenzi, who have since divorced.
As the Contra Costa Times reports:
Drace-Ervin was arrested Thursday while Devincenzi, who has been in custody on a robbery charge from Victorville, was arrested Friday. They are both facing a first-degree murder charge with special circumstances and are being held without bail.
Alameda County authorities gave a press conference today to make the announcement, which was attended by Rudiger's brother, first wife, and three daughters from his first marriage.
As NBC Bay Area notes, Drace-Ervin has been married four times in total. Devincenzi has a criminal record and was implicated in another murder when he was in 20s, perhaps not long before Rudiger's slaying 23 years ago.